Betulin, a pentacyclic triterpene, is the main constituent of the outer bark of birches (Betula alba). In recent years, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and differentiation-promoting effects of betulin have been described. A betulin-based emulsion without preservatives and detergent emulsifiers can be prepared from birch bark extract. We report the successful treatment with betulin emulsion of a severe necrotising herpes zoster in an immunosuppressed patient who had not responded to a conventional topical treatment. The betulin emulsion was directly applied to the wounds without causing any side effects. The presented case report demonstrates impressive skin tolerance and wound-healing properties of the betulin emulsion. These should be further evaluated.
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